CURRICULUM SUBJECT

French

Learning to speak French opens up the culture of our nearest European neighbour. More generally, learning a foreign language at GCSE is hugely valuable, it gives pupils a stronger understanding of grammar, the relationship between language, thought and culture and it gives pupils an appreciation of the lives of people in other countries.

On top of that, global businesses need employees who can speak French so that they are more able to compete and communicate effectively, and the highest earning roles often require another language. Top universities in the UK and around the world look for candidates to have a Language (Ancient or Modern) at GCSE level, so it is a fantastic way to unlock opportunities in the future and ensure you keep the door open to successful higher education.

French GCSE

The specification covers three distinct themes. These themes apply to all four question papers. Pupils are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where French is spoken.

The Themes: People and Lifestyle, Popular Culture, Communication and the World Around Us.

Paper 1: Listening (25%) Written exam, testing students ability to understand spoken French. The exam consists of a mixture multiple choice questions and short-form comprehension questions, in response to listening to a tape of French conversations between various voices. Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

  • Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally
  • Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally
Paper 2: Speaking (25%) The format is the same at Foundation Tier and Higher Tier, but with different stimulus questions for the Photo card and different stimulus materials for the Role-play. The timings are different too:

  • Role-play – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier)
  • Photo card – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)
  • General conversation – 30 marks (3–5 minutes at Foundation Tier; 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier)
Paper 3: Reading (25%) Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

  • Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally
  • Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally
  • Section C – translation from French into English (a minimum of 35 words for Foundation Tier and 50 words for Higher Tier)
Paper 4: Writing (25%) Foundation Tier

  • Question 1 – message (student produces four sentences in response to a photo) – 8 marks
  • Question 2 – short passage (student writes a piece of continuous text in response to four brief bullet points, approximately 40 words in total) – 16 marks
  • Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 35 words) – 10 marks
  • Question 4 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks

Higher Tier

  • Question 1 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks
  • Question 2 – open-ended writing task (student responds to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 150 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 32 marks
  • Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 50 words) – 12 marks